For today’s generation, Hitler is the most hated man in history. His regime has become the the archetype of political evil.

However, this view does not extend to his economic policies. To the contrary, many of his policies are embraced by governments all around the world.

For example, the Glenview state bank of Chicago famously praised Hitler‘s economics in its monthly newsletter. In doing so, the bank discovered the hazard of praising Keynesian policies in the wrong context.

Whether in Germany or the United states, the controversy highlights the ways in which the connection between violence and central planning is still not understood.

In the 1930s, Hitler was widely viewed as just another protectionist central planner who recognized the supposed failure of the free market and the need for nationally guided economic development.

Proto-keynesian socialist economist Joan Robinson wrote that Hitler found a cure against unemployment. Keynes himself supported Hitler’s chief economic policies:

  1. suspension of the gold standard
  2. development of huge public works programs like the Audubon
  3. protection of industry from foreign competition
  4. expanded credit
  5. institution of job programs
  6. Bullying of private sector on prices and production decisions
  7. vastly expanded the military
  8. enforced capital controls
  9. instituted family planning
  10. penalized smoking
  11. brought about national health care and unemployment insurance
  12. imposed educational standards

Such programs remain widely praised. Today, even given their failures, they are features of every capitalist democracy.

Before we demand central planning from our own governments, we should remember where many of these practices originated – and their eventual conclusions.

3 thoughts on “Was Hitler a Socialist?”
  1. Leftist choose to define Fascist by one yardstick Nationalism, which is actually the least especially when you consider they have adopted all the other aspects of Fascism and substituted internationalism/ one world for Nationalism . they conveniently ignore that Hitler was anti capitalism as the eagerly adopt all his other programs and ideas. they even have their own scape goats, Right Wingers who they basically label as anyone who stands in their way. The right winger of today would include the mainstream of yesterday including JFK.

  2. All governments want, like any organization or business, to expand their powers. People naturaly want to control their lives, make money, be admired. In a private enterprise free market nation, the more value, expertise, talent, money, you have to offer to others the more likely you are to be “succesful” and gain what you want. If you are an exceptional football quarterback, business manager, doctor, scientist, entertainer you are likely to be in great demand and compensated accordingly. Free markets for all goods and services naturally have to pay what it costs to attract the level of expertise required for the job or the products required. Most centralized governments can gain what they want simply by passing laws that give it more power to tax and spend what you have earned on others who vote for big central government powers. Who wants that? Well, all people who are more dependent on or content with governmnt wellfare for their basic necessities rather than competing for good employment to earn their living.

    When there is no effective means of limiting the growth of the central government, like a very clearly written constitution which does not allow government to rule, tax and spend without the majority vote of a well and truthfully informed population, that nation is going to collapse like so many others have.

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